Dogs hide under the bed because they are comfortable settling down in a cosy den that smells like their favorite person. But they also seek shelter when afraid, anxious or avoiding something elsewhere in the home. Working out why your dog is hiding under the bed will enable you to either resolve the issue that’s bothering them, or accept that they are happy and secure with this unusual snoozing spot.
- Why does my dog hide under the bed when it’s cold?
- Do dogs hide under the bed because it’s a natural den?
- Familiarity and comfort factors.
- Why does my dog hide under the bed when she’s annoyed?
- Do sick dogs hide under your bed?
Why Does My Dog Hide Under The Bed?
Your dog hides under the bed because they are driven to do so. This could be because they are afraid and want security. Dogs also secrete themselves under furniture because they are uncomfortable with the flooring, temperature or environment in other areas of the house. You might have guests they’d rather avoid, or other animals that are making a nuisance of themselves. Dogs also have a natural instinct to hide in dark cave-like spaces when they are feeling unwell or hurt.
Working out why your dog is hiding under the bed is the first important step to resolving their discomfort or concerns.
Why Does My Dog Hide Under The Bed When It’s Cold?
The temperature in your bedroom is likely quite different to the rest of the house. Mine tends to be cooler because I like to sleep with the windows open. Dogs are very sensitive to climate conditions.
If your house is warm and your bedroom is cool, consider getting them a raised dog bed for the living areas. The increased airflow underneath makes it easier to escape the heat. Alternatively if the bedroom is the warmer place to be, consider turning up the thermostat or investigating in some new snuggly dog blankets.
Is Your Bed A Natural Dog Den?
Wild dogs find secure rocky outcropping or dig into hillsides to create dens to sleep in. When you think about it, this is incredibly sensible. Only one opening means a smaller chance of predation during nap times, and fewer opportunities for being subject to dramatic weather conditions.
Even domesticated animals like to replicate natural sleeping arrangements. You’ve probably come across more than one friend who hates sleeping downstairs for example, as our ancestors were always well positioned high in the trees before dropping off. Your dog’s need for a den is no different, and in the absence of any other cave-ish structures, the space beneath your bed is a perfect alternative.
Comfort comes first with most of our dogs. Although one of our dogs would rather lay on something spikey and be near me than be cosy elsewhere, the rest of them have more sense. It’s possible the space under your bed is simply the best one to stretch out and relax in.
If you’d rather your dog slept or chilled out elsewhere in the house, investing in a new dog bed could make all of the difference.
Does Your Bed Smell Like You?
I like to think my bedroom is fresh as a daisy, but despite my sporadic attempts to keep it delightfully clean, it’s probably the place that smells the most like me. I’m willing to bet yours might be too… And there is the distinct possibility that some old worn clothes or bits of excess bedding have slipped into the space beneath the bed too.
Your dog loves you, and they strongly associate your sweet aroma with your presence. If you are busy with other things, they can be inclined to find a place that smells like you to spend time. It’s comforting, familiar and feels safe.
Do Dogs Hide Through Fear or Frustration?
Anxious dogs or those experiencing times of change will often retreat away from the busy hub of the home. The space under your bed is ideal because noisy strangers or troublesome children are unlikely to easily access your dog hiding under the bed.
Your dog suddenly hiding under the bed after a big lifestyle change, like a new baby or another puppy, is most likely anxious or frustrated. Creating physical barriers between them and the course of their concerns can really help, and we use a system of baby gates for this purpose whenever there is a big change at home. Allowing the dog to be near the new person or pet, but giving them a space that they can escape to if they want.
Pregnancy and Seasons
Dogs that are due to have litters of puppies will hide in small places, like under the bed. Pregnant momma canines’ want to secrete their prized pups somewhere safe, and the bed is a natural choice. Female dogs will also sometimes act out this behavior during their heat, or if they are experiencing a false pregnancy.
Do Dogs Hide Under The Bed When They Are Sick?
Unwell animals have a strong instinct to hide. This is a defensive characteristic that even potentially large predators will adopt to stay safe when they feel vulnerable. Health problems from diseases to physical injury can kick off this behavior, so if you’ve ruled out all the other possibilities it is time to pay your veterinarian a visit for a checkup.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website